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Ahoy, mateys! I have so much to tell you about – just back from a week of meetings in Austin.
I’ve been meaning to report on the Hyatt Zilara Cancun, so here goes.
I booked 3 nights with points in late January.
The flights were paid with Citi ThankYou points (which I’m always rolling in). And I charged the $55 round-trip airport transfer to my Chase Sapphire Reserve, which trigged part of the $300 annual travel credit. And because it’s an all-inclusive, food was covered (more on that in a future post!).
So flights, hotel, food, and transportation were all completely free. I did bring $100 in cash to leave as tips for the drivers, bartenders, servers, and housekeeping staff.
This trip would’ve cost north of $2,000 out of pocket.
But back to the hotel!
In This Post
Hyatt Zilara Cancun Index
- Review of My Free Stay at the Hyatt Zilara Cancun
- Mexico and Bust: Eating at All the Hyatt Zilara Cancun Restaurants
- A Scary Moment at the Hyatt Zilara Cancun
Arrival and check-in
- Link: Hyatt Zilara Cancun
The non-stop flight from Dallas was smooth as silk. Short, half full, and easy.
The immigration line was insane. But the booths were well-staffed, and the line moved fast. Took about 30 minutes.
The process couldn’t have been simpler. There are a lot of pre-arranged services, so when you get outside, there’s a sea of signs and colors. It’s a bit overwhelming.
But we found the guy in the white and purple vest and were quickly on our way to the Zilara. ~25 minutes later, we arrived.
When we pulled up, there was a flurry of commotion: opened doors, luggage, and instant guidance to the “Romance Concierge” to check in.
The desk agent told us about the restaurants and what was available on the property.
It was an hour before check-in and the room wasn’t ready. But they stored our bags and let us have free reign of the bars and self-serve snacks in the lobby.
We grabbed a couple of drinks at the lobby bar. 30 minutes later, they found us, handed us our keys, and invited us to check-in.
And we got an upgrade to the 4th floor thanks to my Platinum elite status.
I’ll talk more about the property after this section. :p
We were assigned to room 416, above the main atrium.
All the rooms have balconies and overlook the ocean. But some are tucked into the wings on either end. And many are above the atrium (which goes up 4 floors).
If I recall correctly, this hotel has 8 floors.
Our room was gorgeous! Not huge, but the way it was laid out made it feel open and airy.
Instead of an overt beach theme, the room had a neutral vibe, with dark wood accents. And I loved the sculpted stone columns.
We had a king-sized bed. And there were a couple of areas for sitting. The jacuzzi was a double-seater and took about 15 minutes to fill up. A nice, romantic touch.
The fridge had top shelf liquor, plenty of soft drinks, juice, and a few beers. You can take whatever’s inside and they’ll replace it each day – it’s included in the price of the room.
So is room service! They put your order into a little cubby next to the door. So it’s entirely possible to never leave the room and still eat and drink to your heart’s content.
The bathroom had an open area for the sink. And a private room with a shower, toilet, and another sink.
The bathroom was incredibly well-stocked. They provide a shoe mitt, shave set, dental kit with toothpaste and a toothbrush, extra bath salt, Q-tips, and a sewing set. That’s in addition to the high-quality soaps, shampoo, and conditioner.
I should mention there was coffee too. The room is basically preset with everything you might need during your stay.
Overall, the room was gorgeous. There are many surfaces to sit and set things down. Outlets everywhere. And the wifi was blazing fast throughout our stay.
Toiletries, drinks, and towels were replaced every day. And I loved the mature decor. From top to bottom, the room exceeded my expectations.
View and welcome amenities
We need to talk about the view from the room.
The rooms overlook the gorgeous blue waters of the Gulf. And our balcony had a hammock for relaxing in the sea breeze. It was pretty much heaven.
At check-in, there was a bottle of merlot on the table with a corkscrew and 2 glasses. Which was awesome.
The next day, there was another bottle of wine, this time a champagne – with 3 raspberry macarons and a piece of chocolate.
Both were unexpected but (obviously) totally welcomed. This, combined with the view from the balcony, made for a warm and delicious experience. Just really, really wonderful.
Around the property
I’ll save the food and drink at the restaurants for a separate post, but wanted to touch on the activities.
There is something to do every dang day. Yoga, tastings, classes of all types, sports, bingo, you name it.
I uh… didn’t really do anything other than eat and drink, so I can’t vouch for their quality. Although if they match the service of the other parts of the hotel, I’m sure they are professional and worthwhile.
If you forget something, or want souvenirs, there’s a small market on-site with things like medicine, sunscreen, t-shirts, tote bags, etc.
The overall property is pretty small (nothing like the behemoth that is the Atlantis resort). Basically just the restaurants, pools, and beach.
In Cancun, I tipped with US dollars. There are two ATMs: one with US dollars, and other with Mexican pesos. The servers seemed to like the US dollars, so that’s what I gave them.
Several doors had banners like the image above. Peeps came to the Zilara to celebrate milestones, like marriage or a birthday. I also saw couples taking their engagement photos along the beach – and what a location!
There was definitely romance in the air. And things like the double jacuzzi and cabanas for two further emphasize the “coupledom” this place inspires.
A few more things to know
It wasn’t all peachy keen in this paradise of endless booze and meals.
If you watch the video above of us popping the champagne, you’ll notice a lot of background noise. If you’re in a room that overlooks the atrium, you can hear the music of the evening shows through the door. And the pools below play Top 40/pop radio pretty much all day, beginning at like 8 in the morning.
The music does stop around 10pm, but if you want to go to bed early, or sleep in, you’ll likely get a lot of interruptions. I imagine the very top floors, or the wings not overlooking the atrium, are much quieter. So if you need quiet, I’d recommend asking for one of those rooms.
Next is the mad dash to “claim a spot” at the pool. I hated this about Martinique. And I hated it here, too.
People start claiming spots at 6 or 7am. They throw a towel on a chair and leave it all day. And come back hours later, expecting it to still be available. Like, hours and hours.
This happened every day. I find it rude, personally.
To mitigate this, you can simply walk down to the beach. There are rows and rows of open chairs. It’s beyond me why they don’t add more chairs around the pool.
Maybe people just don’t like the sand? But I was fine to lay out in these chairs. And definitely didn’t want to stay for hours on end.
Aside from the near-constant noise, and the dumbass pool situation, the rest of the experience was quite good.
I don’t know how near to capacity they were, but the restaurants never once felt crowded. And we always got a seat within seconds.
But if you like silence, or want a spot near the pool, the above 2 points are worth keeping in mind slash planning around.
The only other thing I found odd was the window from the bed frame that looked into the shower. You couldn’t feasibly look through it without standing on the bed. But on the other side, you can see into the room while you’re showering. It does fog up after a sec.
This feature might not be in the rooms with double beds. But if you’re traveling with a friend or family member, it could be worth asking about.
The hotel is everything it’s cracked up to be. And the room and grounds felt inviting and luxurious.
Part of me wondered if I’d regret using 75,000 precious Chase Ultimate Rewards points on 3 nights at the Hyatt Zilara Cancun. Especially after my sub-par experience at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome, which other bloggers go crazy for.
Instead, I wish I’d stayed longer. I’m also newly curious about the Hyatt Ziva Cancun, which is also an all-inclusive but not adults-only. Although I must say, I really enjoyed not having any kids around for a few days.
There’s no way I’d pay $2,000 for a short trip like this, but a combination of Chase Ultimate Rewards points and Citi ThankYou points was the magic ticket to a free trip.
The overall experience was mature, relaxing, peaceful, and drizzled with liquor and opulent meals – which I’ll cover in my next post on this hotel.
The service, starting at check-in, was top-notch and unwavering. The staff truly makes this place a special time.
Admittedly, I’m a little topical vacation-ed out for a while. But I’m interested in the other hotels in the area, and would love to return.
If you’ve stayed here, how does your experience compare? Any other tips to add? And if I left anything out, feel free to ask questions!* If you liked this post, consider signing up to receive free blog posts in an RSS reader and you’ll never miss an update! And thanks for using my links to apply for new card offers!
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post. The opinions of the commenters are not necessarily the opinions of this site.
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